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Sheltered (DIERBAREN) (2020)

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The relationship between the humans and animals at a large animal shelter in the Netherlands is one of extremes. On the one hand, this is a place for new opportunities, where both parties can find unconditional love. On the other, the problem cases lead to despair among their caregivers, who have to face the limitations of the system in which they work.

The bleak, sterile environment of the shelter contrasts sharply with the dedication of the workers who, with boundless love, take care of the discarded dogs, cats, and rodents. They tend to the incoming animals and patch them up, then go to great lengths to match them with a suitable new owner.

Moments of tenderness and solace punctuate the more matter-of-fact, sometimes stark observational scenes of the daily ups and downs at the shelter. It’s not always rewarding work and not every story has a happy ending, but the team gets through it all together. No matter how limited the resources are, the team fights on—even for the biggest misfits of them all.

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